Category: Eyes

Revisting Those Top Ten 2008 Anti-Resolutions

Well, it’s the last day of 2008; tis the season for end-of-the-year reviews. Remember those Top Ten Anti-Resolutions that I made back on January 1st? Maybe we ought to check in and see how much regress I made in doing those things “that I know, absolutely without a doubt, I will never, ever do this year…”

1) Serve on another committee. No problemo, 100% failure on this one. That Machiavellian committee experience back in 2007 got that little itch out of my system for decades to come. I fastidiously avoided large rooms with conference tables and PowerPoint projectors or any situation where more than 2-3 people were gathered together gesticulating madly while arguing over petty politics and personal agendas.… Read the rest

Epidemic Ocularis Hyperlacrimus

If you and your family are casting about looking for something to do this holiday season, take them to see the movie “Marley and Me”–it’s a good old-fashioned emotional flogging they’ll never forget.

Owen Wilson is surprisingly sober, Alan Arkin is a cuddly curmudgeon, Kathleen Turner is downright scary and Jennifer Anniston shows off more range of emotion than skin for once. And Marley (well, Marleys since 22 different yellow labs were used in the film) is a charming rascal of a mutt.

Warning: It may be inappropriate for a large majority of pre-tweeners due to the emotional intensity.… Read the rest

My Kind of Ink

As a licensed eye care professional, and moreover one who is interested in maintaining said license until such time that I retire and/or write my first multimillion dollar bestseller, I cannot say that I wholly endorse this particular Eye-dea.

Still, the thought of appearing on average every 5 seconds whilst tatted across the superior eyelid folds of an army of Fusioneers does bring a smile to my face.… Read the rest

Kawasaki Lets The Good Times Roll

In case you’ve been in a total sensory deprivation chamber for the past two weeks, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Believe it or not, this has caused a lot of controversy, and there are many who feel strongly one way or another about whether or not this is a good thing for our country.

For the most part, I plan to leave those kinds of questions to the big boy and girl bloggers and the hardcore mainstream press such as People magazine. But I do want to address a particular rumor that’s been making the rounds, one that has a vital link to our national security:

Sarah Palin’s glasses are fake and she wears them just so people will think she’s smarter.

Read the rest

You Can’t Keep A Good Song Down

“Be Thou My Vision,” that wonderful old Irish (we think) hymn, is one of my favorites. And if I have to explain to you why, then you haven’t been paying very close attention these past 3 years.

I’ve always considered sacred music, well, you know, sacred. So imagine my surprise to hear the strains of Ginny Owens’ hauntingly beautiful rendition of that hymn intermeshed with the trailer for the latest installment of the Saw series, Saw V.

We were waiting for the new X Files movie to start Friday night, and the misdirection totally threw me. I was thinking, hey this looks and sounds interesting.… Read the rest

Good Vision

My heart went out to Brady and crew this week when I learned of the cruel fate of his beloved Nati at the hands of the Turkish National Team in Euro ’08. Losing in the 90+ minute is a terrible way to go. And with Federer losing too, it made for a very terrible, horrible, rotten Swiss cheese kind of day. Ouch.

But I did take great delight in watching the Azzuri fall 3-0 at the hands (or perhaps I should say “feet”) of The Netherlands on Monday. For those with long memories, you might recall my feelings about Italian footballers.… Read the rest

Want Respect? Earn It

I was 28-years-old when I graduated from optometry school and finally gained that long sought after title of “doctor.” No more “scut work” for me, I thought. “Let respect flow like a river, and money like a mighty stream” was my motto.

Oh, if only it had been that simple. We moved to Nashville where I started a residency in ocular disease at a large ophthalmology clinic and referral center near Vanderbilt. One of the first patients that I saw in the clinic there stared at me in disbelief when I walked into the room and declared, “And what high school did you just graduate from?”… Read the rest

How I Became An Eyeguy; Or, It’s All In The Wrist

Regarding the various times that I worked construction jobs while in school, there are really only two words that need to be said.

I’m sorry.

Sorry for the outlet covers that were put on upside down, sorry for the insulation that wasn’t stapled in correctly, sorry for that door that just won’t shut quite right.

In numerous subdivisions and neighborhoods throughout the Southeast United States, homeowners are starting to do a double take at some of the so-called “quality craftsmanship” of their suburban executive homes and declare: “Who the @%#$&*! put this thing together?!”

Uh, that would be me, and I like I said, I’m sorry.… Read the rest

How I Learned To Speak Fluent Geezer

These days when college students come home and seek out summer jobs, there’s a good chance that they’ll find themselves doing what has become the Main Task Of The Day, without which life as we know it would cease to exist: Data Entry.

Tippity-tap-tippity-tap. It has not always been that way, though.

In the summers following my freshman and sophomore years of college, I worked as an orderly at a nursing home in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that they would hire a skinny, inexperienced 19-year-old kid for a job that involved providing direct patient care to a very sick and fragile population.… Read the rest

“It’s a Small World?” Not Anymore

I’ve been examining patients 20 years now, and I’ve been able to gauge America’s growing trend toward obesity by how difficult it is to fit my patients into a slit lamp.

A slit lamp is the microscope that sits on a swinging table that I use to examine the front of a patient’s eyes. Back in the late 80s when I was starting out, I hardly ever recall having difficulty getting a patient into one of those. But over the years, the increasing girth of the average American belly often has a patient forcing themselves against the table and gasping for air as I try to do an exam.… Read the rest

Skinny White Guys: Wear More Deodorant and Lay Off Those Video Games

This post is dedicated to Number One Son and his roommate Zack.


For some time now, the number of women entering the health professions has been on the rise. Most entering classes in schools of medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, etc have been comprised of around 50% women for several years.

The latest indications are that women are starting to grab a slight majority of entering slots. At the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, women are really starting to rule the roost. A source there informed me recently that the 2008 entering class will be comprised of 80% women.… Read the rest

We’re Moving to Durham, NC

I’ve known about this for several weeks now, but I’ve been waiting until a more opportune time to make the announcement:

We’re moving from Huntsville to Durham, North Carolina.

We’ve been here for 15 years, so this has been a very difficult decision for me to make. The boys have grown up here and our family has put down deep roots. But Duke made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

I’ve always known in my heart that my destiny was somehow tied to Duke University, so imagine how I felt when I heard the athletic department was searching for a team optometrist to provide cutting-edge eye care to their “student athletes.”… Read the rest

“Legally Blind” Doesn’t Mean “Blind As A Bat”

Amid the fallout of Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal and subsequent resignation as Governor of New York comes a bit of ocular news. His successor, David Paterson, becomes the first legally blind governor in U.S. history.davidpaterson_flags.jpg

There’s a lot of confusion out there over what exactly “legal blindness” means. I hear patients say all the time, “I’m legally blind without my glasses or contacts.” Well, no, actually you’re not. You’re only legally blind if you’re 20/200 or worse in your better eye with your glasses or contacts.

You can also be legally blind even if you have “perfect” 20/20 vision. That happens if your visual field is constricted to the point that you can only see 20 degrees total or less in your best and widest meridian (i.e.,… Read the rest

Honest Abe Gets a Makeover


Get an eyeful of Honest Abe’s makeover.

The new $5 bill, which was unveiled last September, will be issued beginning tomorrow. Among the new and improved features is a large, purple numeral 5 in the lower right corner, which will not only make it harder to counterfeit, but also easier for the visually impaired to see. And given the size of the rapidly-aging baby boomer demographic, that’s a move I heartily endorse.

Five dollar bills–in this era of rising gasoline prices, may we all have more of them.… Read the rest